Many people deal with physical injuries due to treadmill training. If you want to improve your physique and keep your body healthy, you are going to need to find a legitimate treadmill alternative!
Fortunately, there are a lot of alternatives to treadmill training. The treadmill is probably the most commonly used “weight loss tool” in the world. Everyone can do it, and it is relatively simple. It doesn’t take much more effort to use a treadmill to lose weight than it does to do coolsculpting at home.
Admittedly, a treadmill delivers numerous advantages when it comes to burning calories, boosting your metabolism, and providing a piece of machinery which builds some amount of athleticism and physical conditioning in a convenient setting., and there are many personal trainers who can help you use a treadmill properly.
However, there are more than a few side effects of training on a treadmill!
Want to learn more about why you need to find alternative exercises to the treadmill?
Keep reading below!
Why is Training on a Treadmill Bad for You?
The problem with the treadmill is that it can often lead to severe strain on your ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.
Regardless of your level as an athlete, these negative effects will add up over time.
If you are not doing an extensive amount of stretching, yoga, or mobility training each day; a treadmill will wreak havoc on your body quickly!
The main problem with running on a treadmill is that it is an intense amount of pounding on your joints. This pounding sends shock-waves through your body, causing many injuries.
Our joints are capable of absorbing large amounts of pressure and exertion; the human body is built to take a certain level of punishment. However, the cartilage and ligaments found in our joints are without-a-doubt prone to injury, especially when you stress them with regularly running on a treadmill.
Running on a treadmill many times a week puts your body at risk for a wide array of pain from conditions such osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis.
If you are looking to build an aesthetic physique or improve your overall health, you don’t want to be doing this!
If you are an athlete and training for competition, training on the treadmill is a bad idea because it can create many muscular imbalances. Running on the treadmill uses the quadriceps and anterior chain muscles much more than the hamstrings, glutes, and posterior chain muscles.
If you are planning to go from treadmill training to an athletic competition, you are exposing yourself to a high risk of injury.
The biggest problem overall with running on a treadmill is that it’s very different from actually running outside, and it creates an unnatural movement for the body. Even when running outside, many people do not run with proper form. Adding in the constriction of the treadmill’s treads, people tend to alter their running movement substantially.
When put in this position, every additional step will cause pain in your hips, knees, ankles and lower back. By avoiding the movement causing this pain, your body will have far more potential to accomplish your goals in other ways.
A treadmill can be a useful device used as a small part or feature of your daily exercise routine, but too much use of it will take a toll on your body!
What Are the Best Treadmill Alternatives?
If you are looking for weight loss solutions that don’t involve the use of a treadmill, there is an incredible number of options for you!
Before you determine which alternative to treadmill training you want to use, you should first consider your training goals.
- Are you looking to lose weight?
- Do you want to build muscle?
- Is anaerobic or aerobic conditioning more important for you?
Once you understand your goals, you can easily determine the best treadmill alternative for yourself!
Alternatives to Treadmill Training – Cardio Machines
If your goal is to lose weight and you would like to stick with a cardio machine, I suggest you try the:
When it comes to treadmill alternatives, these are four of the best options.
Elliptical vs Treadmill
Elliptical Cross trainers built for the home market have not been around nearly as long as fitness treadmills but sales of these products have grown rapidly over the past four to five years and continue to climb.
Perhaps it is interesting to note that the elliptical cross trainer prices are a little higher than comparable treadmills, but, that may be due to the higher volume of treadmill sales forcing more competition in the treadmill market.
So with the treadmill being a more popular market item, at present, why would one choose the elliptical cross trainer over the fitness treadmill?
The foremost reason is probably the fact that a workout on an elliptical cross trainer is not nearly as hard on the leg joints, and particularly the knees, as a workout on a fitness treadmill.
If you have hip, knee, or ankle problems you will find that you can get as strenuous an exercise as you need with an elliptical cross trainer, without the pain that you might experience with the treadmill.
It all about the impact on the joints during treadmill walking and running.
Use of the arms during the elliptical cross trainer workout is felt by some to give a more complete workout than possible on the treadmill. A number of people find it difficult to move their arms while walking or running on the treadmill.
They simply have to hold on to something to maintain their balance.
Oddly many of those people can walk, run, or jog outside with nothing to hold.
Must be the idea of falling off the confined space of a treadmill belt.
One cannot immediately become accustomed to the action of the elliptical cross trainer, but, it should only take a short while to adapt to the different motions associated with the elliptical.
If you want to read professional elliptical machine reviews, be sure to read this great post about FreeStride Trainer FS7i.
How to Use an Elliptical Machine?
If you have decided that the elliptical cross trainer is the best option for your home fitness training, spend adequate time studying the various features and prices available.
Try to resist the temptation to make your decision a low price because that machine may not provide the durability or desirable features you might later find that you want.
On the other hand, the very expensive machines are designed for the varied and rugged requirements found in a commercial fitness club and probably are not that desirable to you; unless you are blessed with riches.
Now for the most important thing to consider when deciding on an elliptical cross trainer; you should consider the machine to provide consistent workouts over the years.
Regular exercise is important to your well being.
Having an elliptical cross trainer in your home can go a long way to providing that exercise; If you use it. I also help you choose to exercise even if it is raining, snowing, or storming outside. And you don’t even have to get dressed to go to the club.
Of course, if you are a people person you may still want to go the gym, but it will cost you a whole lot more money and time.
Rowing Machine vs Treadmill
Rowing is one of the least used, yet, most effective cardiovascular activities that you can do.
You have probably seen the ERG rowing machine in your local gym, but maybe you haven’t been brave enough to venture on to it yet. Whether you have a rowing machine at your local gym, or you are considering making it a part of your easy workout for home, these tips will make sure you give it a try!
Works Your Anaerobic Energy System:
For most people, the treadmill or a light jog or run outside is what they consider to be “good” cardio. However, these aerobic forms of cardio do not burn nearly as many calories as anaerobic activities.
Anaerobic cardio burns calories while you are doing the activity itself, as well as in the hours afterwards. Along with this, anaerobic cardio can also build muscle in some situations!
Rowing is one of these situations!
Anaerobic activities such as the prowler sled, Jacob’s Ladder Exercise, and the ERG rowing machine are the absolute best for building a shredded physique, which you can easily tell by comparing the look of a sprinter to a marathon runner.
Add in some 500m or 1,000m rowing sprints to the end of your daily workouts and you will quickly see the difference in your body!
Improves Cardiovascular Fitness and Builds Muscle:
As said before, anaerobic cardio can build muscle! Rowing is an excellent cardio choice because it is incredibly different than any other movement you do, and will work muscles you hardly even knew you had.
Rowing is an exhausting workout for your legs, core, and upper back; while also taxing many other antagonist muscles as well.
Working on these muscles in such a unique fashion will allow you to build muscle, as the stimulus will immediately trigger a positive hormonal and muscular response.
Remember, keep your rows to short and intense sprints to make the most of this effect!
You Can Fit a Rowing Machine in a Home Gym:
If you are looking to put a piece of cardio equipment in to a home gym, you probably started to look at treadmills and stationary bicycles first.
Although there are many benefits of using a stationary bike and other home exercise equipment, a rowing machine offers opportunities that others don’t!
A rowing machine can fit just as easily in to your home gym as these two pieces of equipment, and can help you achieve an even greater level of fitness! Check out these rowing machine reviews on IntenseDebate to find out which suits your price range and home gym the best!
Additional Thoughts on Using a Rowing Machine vs Treadmill
Rowing machines are far more useful than you probably ever imagined.
If you are an athlete looking to do some cross-training in your off season, rowing is a low-impact exercise which can help to keep you in top physical condition year-round.
If you are looking to learn how to lose weight fast, build muscle, or improve your cardiovascular fitness; rowing is also a great choice for you!
Additional Thoughts on the Best Cardio Machine Options Instead of a Treadmill
Not only are these three cardio machines easier on your joints, but they are much more functional exercises as well! These exercises will not only help you to lose weight and burn calories, but they will help you to be stronger and healthier through your daily life as well.
Stationary bike training is an excellent option for combining both anaerobic and aerobic training.
If you are interested in a completely exhausting workout, give the Jacob’s Ladder a try! Most people hate it, but it is always worth the effort!
The ERG rowing machine is commonly used in CrossFit competitions because it is intense and functional. You can pace yourself on a rowing machine, or you can push yourself hard!
Regardless which you chose, these are all excellent ulterior exercises to the treadmill.
Treadmill Alternative – High-Intensity Interval Training Workouts
For those people who use treadmill training to lose weight, did you know that you can burn as many calories, or more, with weight training?
Most people don’t know this, which is why the treadmill is so commonly used to lose weight.
CrossFit has glorified the high-intensity interval training workout program, but it isn’t the only option. There are many of these “strength-endurance” type of workouts you can do which will help you burn calories and lose weight even better than a treadmill!
If you want an alternative to your traditional treadmill workout program, check these out!
How to Use the Treadmill Effectively
Although there are many disadvantages to treadmill training, it is not completely useless.
If you want an exceptional workout that will not harm your joints (and can even improve them), you could try running on an underwater treadmill!
In fact, I still use the treadmill often myself! However, I never run on it.
Walking on a high incline and a low to moderate speed on a treadmill can accomplish many of your desired goals, without putting your body at risk of injury.
I normally start my workouts with ten minutes of walking on a treadmill at a high incline, and will often conclude my training the same. Although you may not burn the same amount of calories as running on the treadmill, the difference is not that big overall
Also, your body will feel fresher, enabling you to take on different tasks as well!
Increasing the incline forces your muscles to work much more, and can rapidly increase your the number of calories that you are burning.
Other than walking on the treadmill on a high-incline, I cannot think of many reasons to use it at all! Seriously, I don’t like that machine!
There are many other effective and useful exercises in the world for you to do, don’t waste your time and health on a treadmill!
Concluding Thoughts – Best Treadmill Alternative
In my opinion, the best treadmill alternative is literally almost any other form of exercise. As you can see, I am not a fan of using the treadmill at all. I believe you should avoid it as much as possible, and overall I believe it is a very limited cardio machine.
If you want to walk on a treadmill to warm up, I don’t see a problem with that. However, you should not try to use it for a substantial part of your workout.